Utility costs represent the single largest controllable expense in a multi-family housingcommunity, consuming 25 to 35% of most operating budgets.
With the U.S. Departments of Energy and HUD working aggressively to improve energy efficiency in public and privately-owned housing communities, affordable housing managers trying to rein in energy costs have a new ally: the SEE The Light Property Manager’s Energy Toolkit.
Created exclusively for the multi-family housing sector by energy consulting firm Kilojolts Consulting Group, this behavior-based energy efficiency solution comes bundled with all the tools, technology, and training resources owners and managers need to address the 20% of their facilities’ energy budget that may be caused by employees and tenants’ everyday behaviors.
“The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that multi-family units are responsible for 15% of the nation’s energy consumption, or $10 billion annually,” said Kilojolts president Gary Markowitz. “Every dollar SEE The Light helps management avoid spending has a positive impact on the budgets of property owners and tenants alike.”
The Property Manager’s Energy Toolkit is the 14th in a series of market segment-specific SEE The Light Toolkits.
Ranging from manufacturing and commercial office to supermarkets, restaurants, and schools, each SEE The Light EnergyToolkit is customized to align with the energy consumption profile of the particular market segment.
One of the first operators to integrate SEE The Light into its energy management strategy is Connecticut-based Vesta Corporation. Vesta develops, owns, and manages affordable housing communities throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic, the southeast, Midwest, and Texas.
“Vesta Corporation has made great strides in our energy efficiency efforts during the past few years,” said Josh Greenblatt, Vesta’s vice president of Property Operations. “For example, we installed Connecticut’s largest residential solar hot water system at our Windham Heights property in Willimantic and, at Mohegan Commons in Norwich, Connecticut, we switched from oil to natural gas-fired equipment and dramatically cut our heating and hot water bills.
“Now with SEE The Light, we’re asking our employees and residents to adopt new energy-efficient practices so we can tackle the behavior-based and undiscovered causes of wasteful energy usage.”
The Toolkits walk property managers through a process for modifying staff and resident behaviors, integrating energy-efficient education and practices into daily life.
“Tenants and employees aren’t deliberately wasting energy by leaving lights and computers on, forgetting to close doors and windows, or ignoring water leaks,” said Kilojolts’ Markowitz.
“Managers can change behaviors by explaining the impact of energy waste on the property’s financial and environmental health. SEE The Light gives residential property and maintenance managers the tools to transform inefficient practices into energy-smart habits and engages residents to report energy waste where they see it.”